More than 900 fans showed up at the practice fields at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Friday afternoon to watch the Jaguars go through their second mini-camp practice and first open to the public.
"It was great to see the fans out here," Jaguars defensive tackle Derek Landri said. "They get a chance to see all the new guys we have on the roster."
Both of Saturday's practices are open to the public with the first one starting at 10:30 a.m. and the second practice scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
Duffner and Cox
##### Durant knows the feeling
Third-year linebacker Justin Durant still remembers hearing the whispers when he entered the NFL as a second-round pick out of Hampton University in 2007. Durant wasn't a household name and not many people saw Hampton play on television each Saturday.
There was a stigma attached to his name with people saying, "He isn't disciplined. He is raw. It's going to take him a while to learn the playbook." Durant heard them all.
"It was rough," Durant said. "I couldn't pay any attention to it. I had to come out and believe in myself and go out there and play hard and prove everybody wrong."
The Jaguars have several players on their current roster who are in a similar situation, including rookie cornerback Derek Cox. Cox was a three-year starter at William & Mary and was the second-highest drafted player in school history (Darren Sharper, 1997, Green Bay). Cox knows the challenge ahead of him.
"Obviously at the NFL everybody has talent, so week in and week out you are going to be playing against solid receivers," Cox said. "Here and there (in college) you may get a team that doesn't have a receiver that is 'the man.' In the NFL you are going to have a challenge every week so you just rise to the occasion."
Durant wasted no time making an impact in the NFL, starting eight games as a rookie including both playoff games that season. He finished with 17 tackles against Pittsburgh in the AFC Wild Card game, the second-most by a Jaguar in postseason history. He has made 20 starts in two seasons and is expected to start on the outside again in 2009.
"I was a bit nervous at first. I never doubted myself or my abilities," Durant said. "I definitely will tell the guys (rookies), they are here for a reason. If they didn't have talent or they didn't have the abilities then the people in the front office wouldn't be doing their jobs. We drafted them and obviously they have the talent to be here. I will tell them don't listen to the negative things that are said about you."
##### Dillard comes with resume
The Jaguars selected Rice wide receiver Jarett Dillard in the fifth round and he brought a long resume of accomplishments to his first practices as a Jaguar on Friday. Dillard finished his collegiate career as one of the most prolific receivers in NCAA history. Here's a look at some of his highlights:
Set NCAA record with 60 career TD receptions, surpassing the previous mark of 50 by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech. * Is the only player in college football history to produce two seasons with at least 20-plus TD receptions, finishing with 21 in 2006 and 20 in 2008. *
Caught at least one TD pass in 32 games, breaking the NCAA major college record of 27 games by Ryan Yarborough of Wyoming (1990-93). * Finished with 292 receptions, second-most in Conference USA history, and was the player in league history to produce three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. *
##### Brown has bragging rights
The Jaguars signed only one quarterback following the draft, Central Arkansas' Nathan Brown. A four-year starter, Brown threw for 10,558 yards and 100 touchdowns, the most in Arkansas collegiate history. Brown surpassed Jaguars quarterback Cleo Lemon who threw for 7,769 yards at Arkansas State from 1997-2000. In 2008, Brown was 254 of 375 for 3,206 yards with 31 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
##### The last word
"I've just been ready to start. Going through the whole process leading up to the draft and making the visits and doing the private workouts, I grew tired of that and I was ready to start working."
Jaguars 2009 first-round pick Eugene Monroe on his first NFL practice